Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are the BULLRUNS really dangerous??

Now that the sanfermines, 2009, are rapidly trampling upon us, many of you have written to us in the past weeks, inquiring about our own opinions about running with the bulls in Pamplona. Many of you have asked if the bullruns are really dangerous??!! We can tell you from the experiences of many of our Pamplona friends and family: THE BULLRUNS IN PAMPLONA ARE NOT REALLY DANGEROUS.....THEY ARE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DANGEROUS! Included here are two photos that tell the story quite well, results of the bullrun of July 12, 2007.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is there an INTERNET Café in the old city, Pamplona??

The one and only Internet café in the old city, Pamplona, is the "Kuria Net", located at Calle Curia, # 15, in the heart of the fiesta. This internet café usually opens by about 10:30am, daily, depending on the late night hours of the employees who work there! This past San Fermín fiesta, 2008, it was open by about 11am, each morning, at the latest. "Kuria Net" is usually open until about 11pm, each night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why you should watch the FIREWORKS during the San Fermín fiestas!!

Here is a photo explanation of why nearly every group of revelers, everywhere, stops what they are doing in the late evening hours of the sanfermines, to witness the extraordinary FIREWORKS extravaganzas over Pamplona, beginning each night at 11pm......we'll see you there!!

Is it true that there are FIREWORKS each night of the SAN FERMIN fiestas??

You may enjoy knowing that the world's most outstanding fireworks displays happen each night of the sanfermines, beginning at 11pm, at the Parque de la Ciudadela....These fabulous fireworks are free and open to the public!! We suggest that you bring a blanket to sit on, as often the grass is wet with late night dampness and/or sangria, wines and other assorted refreshments. From the area of the Town Hall, follow the pedestrians on Calle Nueva, heading to the fireworks extravaganzas.....At the end of Calle Nueva, cross the intersecting streets at the Hotel Tres Reyes.....and, follow the pedestrians who are all headed to the ancient Roman fortifications, where the fireworks take place...Enjoy! (We never miss this event!!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

What about PARKING during the sanfermines??

Many of you have been asking about where to park a vehicle during the very crowded dates of the sanfermines -
If you plan to bring a car to Pamplona, please know that all streets in the old city are blocked to traffic, during the fiesta dates of July 5th through, and including, the 14th. Parking is sometimes available at the airport; along the perimeter of the Parque de la Taconera; and in the residential area called "Rochapea", across the Río Arga from the old city, and about a 15 minute walk to the fiesta. Here is a link which will show you the Rochapea area:
Please be aware that leaving a car for several days, or even overnight, may be risky.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How to Run with the Bulls - Part 4

Now that the rocket has sounded, you know the bulls are coming. Now is the time to put your strategy in motion. There is an immediate rush in the crowd - either down the street or towards the walls and fences. If you are too close to the fences at the start, you will get caught in the crowd.

As the bulls run faster than the people, the biggest challenge to the run is the crowd and not the bulls. If you wait and try to run once the bulls are in sight, then you will miss them as they run past you so fast, it is all over before you know what just happened!

The suggestion is to lane run. To do this, start in the middle of the street near where you want to run with the bulls. Then, when the rocket goes off, start to run, keeping yourself in a lane near the middle of the street. The bulls will eventually catch you and, as they come upon you, move to one side to allow them to pass. As they go past you, increase your speed as best you can with the crowd to run 'with' the bulls for as long as possible.

If you get knocked down or fall down in the crowd - DO NOT GET UP. Stay down and cover your head. Bulls have very poor eyesight and will mostly watch the ground ahead of them. They do this to keep from stepping on something they do not recognize so they will not fall down. This is, of course, a general statement and not always true.

When the bulls encounter people that have fallen and are laying on the street, they will generally jump over them as they will not risk falling by stepping on something that is not familiar. Once the bulls pass, someone will come along and let you know that it is now safe to get up. Again, if you fall down, stay down and cover your head. This way is safest and you will live to run another day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

SECOND Step of the SAN FERMIN Stairway!!

The official countdown to the sanfermines, 2009, continues today, as we celebrate the SECOND step of the San Fermín ladder...!! It is very customary - and, expected!! - among our family and friends in Pamplona, to celebrate each step of the SAN FERMIN Stairway - the steps being the dates 1st of January, 2nd of February, 3rd of March, 4th of April, 5th of May, 6th of June and the 7th of July.  These dates through June are perfect excuses for having all night "pre-fiesta fiestas" among the social clubs and local Pamploneses to remind ourselves of the unbridled excitement of the San Fermin fiestas themselves....which will erupt on the 7th of July - the final step of this year's Stairway!! 
Enjoy this 2nd step of the San Fermin ladder today!  And, remember our declaration: "¡Ya Falta Menos!"....which translates to: "One Day Closer!"


Sunday, February 1, 2009

More thoughts about the CHUPINAXCO!

We need to emphasize again that if you are bothered by huge crowds, it will be best for you to STAY OUT of this CHUPINAXCO activity!  There are only about 2500 sq. meters of ground space in the Town Hall Square (called the Plaza Consistorial), and there are an estimated 13,000 very wild revelers pushing their way into the Square, all at the same time!  In simpler terms, there are about 5 to 6 persons crushed into EACH sq. meter of ground space! 
Also, because of these unforgiving crowds, and because of the fact that once you get into the Square, you cannot get out....we caution you about bringing valuables into the Square with you!!  Do NOT bring cash, passports, wallets, jewelry, watches, hotel/room keys, etc into this crowded madness of the CHUPINAXCO, as professional pickpockets love this event, too!
Being all this as it may be, we do love the CHUPINAXCO!! much fun to celebrate the opening ceremonies with our family and friends from Pamplona!  If you are serious about watching this spectacle from a safe location, we encourage you to contact us right away, as balcony places for this wild CHUPINAXCO, 2009, event are very limited! We'll see you there!!